How to get a VoIP number: A step-by-step guide
We break down how to get a VoIP number. From choosing a provider to finding a number, we'll show you how it's done.
By Kelsie Anderson
If you've ever wondered how to secure a VoIP number for yourself or your business, you're in the right place. This post offers a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to doing just that. But why should you be interested?
VoIP provides a host of advantages that traditional phone services can't match. It offers remarkable flexibility, seamless global connectivity, and cost efficiency. It’s also incredibly user-friendly. The future is digital, and VoIP is a vital part of it. But before you let the jargon intimidate you, let's break it down in the simplest way possible.
In the coming sections, you'll discover how easy it is to get a VoIP number, regardless of your technical expertise. We'll walk you through the process step by step, and by the end of this guide, you'll have everything you need to make the switch.
What is a VoIP Number?
A VoIP number, also known as a Direct Inward Dialing (DID) number, is a telephone number that works on a VoIP system rather than a traditional phone line. It facilitates international calling at a fraction of standard costs, helping businesses establish a global presence without high expenditures.
Types of VoIP numbers
While every VoIP number relies on VoIP technology instead of the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), not all VoIP numbers are the same. There are three main types of VoIP numbers:
Local VoIP numbers
These numbers are associated with a specific geographic area or city. Even though they’re internet-based, they still use traditional area codes.
Local VoIP numbers are useful if you want your business to have a local presence, making it appear as if it's located within a certain region. Customers from this area can call you at local rates, even if you're physically located elsewhere.
Toll-free VoIP numbers
These are the digital equivalents of traditional toll-free numbers (like those starting with 800, 888, etc., in the United States). When someone calls a toll-free VoIP number, they aren't charged for the call, regardless of their location.
Businesses often use these numbers for customer service or sales lines to encourage customers to call without worrying about long-distance fees.
Non-geographic or national VoIP numbers
As the name implies, non-geographic numbers aren't associated with a specific geographic region.
These numbers are useful for businesses with a national presence or those that operate in multiple regions and want a consistent, location-independent contact number.
International VoIP numbers
International VoIP numbers are assigned in one country but used in another. Depending on the issuing country's system, they can be local, toll-free, or non-geographic.
International numbers can help businesses operate on a global scale more easily and cost-effectively. They allow businesses to establish a presence in countries other than their own without the fees associated with traditional phone lines.
Whatever VoIP number you choose should align with your business goals and customer needs. If you primarily serve a local community, a local VoIP number makes sense. But if you operate on a national or international scale, you should consider a non-geographic or international VoIP number.
Why you need a VoIP number
Before diving into how to get a VoIP number, it's essential to understand why your business might need one. VoIP numbers provide numerous benefits, including:
VoIP numbers offer a range of cost-saving advantages to businesses compared to traditional phone lines. Because VoIP technology uses the internet to transmit voice data, it’s less costly to make calls, especially long-distance or international ones.
VoIP infrastructure is also much more affordable than setting up traditional phone lines since all you need is a stable internet connection and a VoIP-enabled device (like a computer, smartphone, or IP phone). Maintenance costs for VoIP systems are also lower because they're based on software rather than hardware. Most troubleshooting and updates can be handled remotely, reducing the need for on-site service visits.
VoIP numbers offer an incredible level of portability that traditional phone systems simply can’t match. VoIP numbers aren't tied to a physical location. So as long as you have access to a reliable internet connection, you can use your VoIP number, whether you're in your office, at home, or on the other side of the world.
While this portability is great for employee connectivity, it also gives businesses more flexibility. Even if your business relocates, your VoIP number remains the same, ensuring business continuity and avoiding the need to update business contact information across various platforms. VoIP numbers can also be easily scaled up or down based on your business needs. If you're expanding your team or opening a new office, you can add VoIP numbers without the need for complex hardware installations.
In an increasingly remote and flexible working world, the portability of VoIP numbers offers businesses an effective and efficient way to maintain consistent, high-quality communication.
Integration with other services
VoIP's compatibility with various services allows for the creation of a unified communication platform. This compatibility means all your business communication tools—email, instant messaging, video conferencing, and voice calls—can be accessed and managed from a single point, streamlining your communication processes.
Integration with these types of services eliminates the need to switch between apps or devices, significantly enhancing productivity and efficiency. Customers will also benefit from VoIP features. Integrating VoIP with CRM, for example, can automatically bring up a customer’s information when they call. With quick, easy access to this information, your team can deliver more personalized service, leading to improved customer experiences. As businesses increasingly rely on a wide array of software solutions, the ability to integrate communication tools into this mix is crucial.
Where to get a VoIP number
It might seem a bit obvious, but you can get VoIP numbers from a VoIP provider. The process is similar to acquiring a landline phone number from a traditional phone company but much more streamlined. You can often complete the process almost entirely using self-serve tools. As such, choosing your VoIP provider is the most critical step in the process of getting VoIP numbers. We’ll cover critical considerations for choosing your provider later in this article.
The issue with free VoIP numbers
While researching VoIP numbers, you’ve likely learned about numbers you can acquire for free. While free VoIP numbers may seem appealing due to their cost-effectiveness, there are several reasons why businesses should consider purchasing VoIP numbers from reputable providers:
- Paid VoIP services often guarantee a higher level of reliability and uptime than free services.
- Call quality, including clear voice transmission and minimal lag or delay, is usually superior with paid VoIP services.
- When it comes to resolving issues or queries, free services often lack robust customer support, while paid VoIP services usually have dedicated support teams ready to help.
- Paid VoIP services offer more advanced features, while free services often provide only basic functionality.
- Free services may not provide adequate security, leaving your business vulnerable. Paid VoIP services usually employ robust security measures to protect your data and conversations.
- Using a free VoIP number can give an impression of a less professional operation. A paid VoIP service often allows businesses to select local, toll-free, or even international numbers that align with their brand and market presence.
While free VoIP numbers can be a good choice for individual users or small businesses with limited needs, most businesses will find that the benefits of paid VoIP services far outweigh the costs.
Step-by-step guide to getting a VoIP number
If you’re intrigued by the benefits VoIP can provide, you’re probably wondering how to get your own VoIP number. In this section, we'll walk you through it step-by-step. From choosing the right VoIP service provider to setting up your own VoIP number, we've got you covered.
1. Identify your needs
Determine what you need from your VoIP service. Consider factors such as the number of users you’ll have, required features (like call forwarding, voicemail, call recording, etc.), and whether you need local, toll-free, non-geographic, or international numbers.
2. Choose a reliable VoIP service provider
Based on your needs, research and choose a VoIP service provider. Look for a provider that offers reliable service, good customer support, and the features you need at a competitive price.
3. Select your VoIP number
Most service providers will allow you to choose your VoIP number from a list of available numbers. Depending on your requirements, you could opt for a local, toll-free, or international number. Some providers also offer the option to port your existing phone number.
4. Configure your VoIP system
After getting your number, you'll need to set up your VoIP service according to your needs. The setup process can include configuring user extensions, setting up voicemail, and customizing call routing and forwarding rules. Most VoIP providers offer online dashboards that make this process easy.
5. Install VoIP software or hardware
Depending on how you plan to use your VoIP service, you may need to install software on your devices or set up VoIP-enabled phones. Some providers offer mobile apps, allowing you to use your VoIP service from your smartphone.
6. Test your VoIP number
Finally, conduct a few test calls to ensure everything works correctly. Check the sound quality and make sure all the features you've set up are functioning as expected.
With these steps, you should be able to get a VoIP number and start enjoying the benefits of this modern communication technology.
Key considerations when choosing a VoIP provider
Getting a VoIP number is one thing, but choosing the network it operates on is another. That’s where finding the right VoIP provider comes in. But choosing a VoIP provider isn't simply about picking the first name that pops up in your search results. It's about finding a partner that will meet your business needs, enhance your communication, and, ultimately, drive growth. In this section, we'll guide you through the crucial aspects you need to bear in mind to make an informed decision.
Reliability and quality
The provider you choose will impact the reliability and quality of your calls. Dropped calls, poor audio quality, and service outages can disrupt business operations and harm your reputation. A reliable provider will have robust infrastructure and redundancy measures to ensure high uptime.
Network performance is critical for VoIP calling because VoIP numbers connect via the internet. A poor connection can degrade call quality to the point where you can’t communicate. And if your carrier’s network is down, you can’t connect calls.
If your carrier doesn’t own and operate its own network, it provisions it from third-party operators, making quality control or troubleshooting issues difficult. Therefore, it’s best to work with a VoIP carrier that owns and operates its own private VoIP network. A fully-owned private network will give you the best call quality and make it easier for your VoIP provider to respond to your needs.
Different providers have different pricing structures. The right VoIP provider for your business will fit within your budget while still offering all the features and quality of service you need.
You should also evaluate a VoIP carrier’s pricing relative to the volume of phone numbers you’ll need. Small costs—such as billing increments—can quickly add up when you're using hundreds or thousands of phone numbers. So be diligent in scrutinizing your VoIP provider’s pricing structure.
When issues arise, you need to be able to depend on fast and effective customer support. The level of support offered can vary significantly between providers. Make sure to evaluate reviews from trusted reviews sites to ensure your VoIP carrier can support your needs.
Different VoIP providers offer different features. Some may offer advanced features such as video conferencing, CRM integration, and advanced call routing, while others may stick to the basics. The right provider will offer the most important features for your business operations.
VoIP calls can be vulnerable to security threats like any other internet-based service. A good provider will have strong measures in place to protect your calls and data. Security is also one area where a privately-owned VoIP network can come in handy. By keeping calls off the public internet, your VoIP carrier can better shield them from exposure to various threat vectors.
Find VoIP numbers with Telnyx
Whether you're a small business looking to level the playing field or a larger enterprise aiming to streamline communications, a VoIP number can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. From cost savings to greater portability and integration capabilities, the benefits of VoIP are manifold. However, the success of this transition hinges heavily on your choice of VoIP provider—a decision that requires careful consideration of your unique needs, budget, and long-term goals.
Telnyx is a global leader in the world of VoIP services. With a robust suite of communication APIs, advanced security measures, and a resilient private network, we offer unparalleled call quality, reliability, and control. Whether you're after a local, toll-free, or international VoIP number, Telnyx has you covered with competitive rates and a rich set of features to drive your business communications forward.
Contact our team of experts to take the first step towards a smarter, more efficient communication strategy, and discover how Telnyx can empower your business with VoIP.
Want to learn more about communications tools for your business? Check out these other resources:
- Purchase your first number in our Mission Control portal by following the steps in our documentation.
- Not sure which number is right for you yet? Explore our marketplace of toll-free and global numbers to find the one that’s best for you.
- Already have a VoIP number but want to switch providers? Learn about Telnyx’s number porting options.